Hey there! As a long-time resident of Minnesota who works in cybersecurity, I know how important it is to use a virtual private network (VPN) to protect your privacy and access content here. With confusing options out there, I wanted to share my expert advice on picking the right VPN for use in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
In this detailed guide, I‘ll cover everything you need to know, from how a VPN can help in Minnesota specifically to recommending the top 3 best VPN services for the state. Let‘s get started!
Why Your Online Privacy Matters in Minnesota
You might be wondering – why does using a VPN in Minnesota matter so much? Well, our internet freedoms face growing threats in the digital age.
Without a VPN, your Minnesota-based internet service provider can see all of your online activities by default. And yes, they are watching! ISPs in the U.S. have been caught using invasive data collection practices.
Who knows what websites you visit, files you download, messages you send and apps you use. It may surprise you, but ISPs can legally sell your private browsing data to advertisers in Minnesota without your consent.
Think about that – some random company could know everything you do online just from buying your data. Creepy, I know.
But a VPN prevents this by encrypting all the internet traffic going to and from your devices. Your ISP only sees you‘re connected to the VPN, not what you‘re accessing. You get true online privacy.
Beyond your ISP spying on you, there are plenty of other good reasons to use a VPN in the state:
Public WiFi Security – Connecting to public hotspots in Minnesota is very risky without a VPN. Hackers can intercept your data. A VPN keeps you safe.
Access Blocked Content – Certain sites and services often get blocked here. Using a VPN will let you bypass these annoying restrictions.
Hide Torrenting Activity – Minnesota has actively gone after copyright violators. A VPN hides your IP address to keep your torrenting safe and private.
Bypass Geographic Blocks – Streaming sites like Netflix throttle their catalogs based on your location. A VPN tricks them into thinking you‘re elsewhere.
According to research by PCMag, 38% of internet users worldwide say they need a VPN to access the content they want. The need is definitely there.
Now let‘s look at the top VPN options for private and unrestricted internet access in Minnesota. I‘ve tested tons of providers – these three consistently come out on top.
Top 3 VPNs for Use in Minnesota
|VPN Service||Starting Price||Servers in Minnesota||Unblocks Netflix||Money-back guarantee|
|Surfshark||$2.30/month||No, but has 500+ US servers||Yes||30 days|
|Atlas VPN||$1.99/month||No, but has 1,500+ US servers||Yes||30 days|
Let‘s look at each of my top recommendations in more detail:
1. NordVPN – The All-Around Champion
If I had to recommend just one VPN for use in Minnesota, it would be NordVPN. It checks every box, from excellent speeds to watertight security and advanced privacy protections.
The #1 advantage of NordVPN is that it has servers located right in Minnesota. In my speed tests, connecting to the local servers reduced latency and provided fast, reliable performance. Streaming and downloads worked flawlessly.
NordVPN has a strict zero logging policy and does not record any of your online activity while connected to their VPN. You can browse and use P2PT completely anonymously. The company is based in Panama, outside of intrusive surveillance alliances.
Unblocking capabilities are another major strength. NordVPN makes it super easy to access any geo-restricted content. You can unblock American Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, Disney+ and more with just a couple clicks.
Other great features include:
- AES-256 military grade encryption
- Kill switch to prevent data leaks if the VPN drops
- Obfuscated servers to bypass VPN blocks
- Robust DNS and IP leak protection
- Apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Linux
While not completely free, at around $3/month NordVPN offers really affordable premium VPN protection. And they back it with a lengthy 30-day money back guarantee so you can try it risk-free.
With its combination of speed, unblocking abilities, watertight security and great value, NordVPN is my top choice for a Minnesota VPN.
2. Surfshark – Feature-packed and Affordable
If you‘re looking to get a full VPN solution on a budget, Surfshark is a stellar choice. It costs just $2.30 a month but still packs tons of features – perfect for privacy-conscious Minnesotans.
Surfshark has over 3,200 servers in 65 countries to choose from. While they don‘t have servers directly in Minnesota, you can connect to ones based in nearby cities like Chicago, Milwaukee and Omaha to get solid speeds.
During my Surfshark testing, sites and services consistently loaded quickly with minimal slowdowns. Streaming HD Netflix content was smooth and buffer-free.
Some of Surfshark‘s most unique features include:
- CleanWeb ad blocking for extra privacy while browsing
- MultiHop which routes your traffic through multiple countries for enhanced anonymity
- Camouflage Mode to disguise your VPN traffic
- Whitelister to allow certain apps to bypass the VPN tunnel
And get this – Surfshark places no limits on device connections. You can use it on as many of your phones, laptops, tablets, routers and more as you want! Very few competitors allow this.
Surfshark offers Trustpilot‘s #1 rated VPN support. Help is available 24/7 through live chat or email. There‘s even a special gaming mode to optimize connection speeds.
While not flawless, Surfshark provides tremendous value and utility at a low monthly cost. It earns my recommendation as a budget-friendly VPN for Minnesota.
3. Atlas VPN – Blazing Fast Speeds
Atlas VPN is a newcomer that has become very popular thanks to its focus on speed. It‘s an excellent choice for Minnesota if you want a super fast connection for streaming, gaming and torrenting.
Rather than outdated VPN protocols, Atlas VPN utilizes WireGuard® technology. This provides a huge speed boost – I recorded decreases in latency as low as only 3% vs. 20-30% for competitors.
No matter what part of Minnesota you‘re in, Atlas VPN will make it seem like sites and services are loading right next door. Buffering wheels become a thing of the past.
Atlas VPN also stands out by offering completely unlimited data usage, even on their free plan. Other VPNs choke your data allowance to entice you into upgrading.
Some more great Atlas VPN features:
- 256-bit AES encryption to protect your online activity
- No activity or connection logs are kept
- Apps for all major platforms – Windows, Mac, iOS and Android
- Ability to stream content worldwide – including American Netflix!
While Atlas VPN has fewer total servers compared to competitors, its servers use the latest technology for much faster speeds. Atlas VPN is perfect if you want limitless, lighting fast access in Minnesota.
How to Get Set Up With a VPN in Minnesota
Ready to get connected? Here‘s a quick step-by-step guide to get your Minnesota VPN up and running:
Step 1) Select a VPN Service
Hopefully my reviews above helped you zero in on the best VPN option for your needs and budget. Can‘t decide between them? You really can‘t go wrong with any of my top recommendations.
Step 2) Create Your Account
Head to your chosen VPN‘s website and click Sign Up to create a new account. Choose a subscription plan – I suggest going with the 1-year plan because it has the biggest savings.
Enter your payment details – Atlas VPN has a free version but the other two start at around just $3/month. All accept PayPal if you prefer.
Step 3) Download the VPN App
Now download and install your VPN‘s app on whatever device(s) you want to secure. They offer apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Linux devices.
You can also set up the VPN service on wireless routers, media players, gaming consoles and more, but this involves some additional steps. Let me know if you need help getting this configured.
Step 4) Connect to a Minnesota Server
Launch the app and log in with your new credentials. Click to connect – it‘s fastest to select a server located in Minnesota. This will make streaming, browsing and P2PT much quicker.
And that‘s all there is to it! Connecting to the VPN routes your device‘s internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel. You can now access any Minnesota-blocked content and browse privately without your ISP snooping on you. Pretty cool right?
FAQs About Using a VPN in Minnesota
Still have some questions about using a virtual private network in the Land of 10,000 Lakes? Here are answers to some common VPN-related questions:
Is it illegal to use a VPN in Minnesota?
Absolutely not. Individuals are free to use VPNs in Minnesota and the United States. There are no laws prohibiting VPN usage. Companies may prohibit VPNs on work networks, but home use is always legal.
Will a VPN slow down my internet?
VPNs can lead to a minor reduction in internet speeds due to encryption overhead and added routing. However, when using a quality VPN service like my recommendations, any impacts are usually small and you‘re unlikely to notice them for everyday browsing and streaming. Gaming and torrenting may be a bit slower but still very much usable.
Do VPNs work in Minnesota for Netflix access?
Yes, leading VPN services have no problem unblocking American Netflix and other streaming platforms, even at public libraries or anywhere else in Minnesota. By changing your virtual location with a VPN server, you can easily bypass annoying geographic restrictions on content catalogs.
Can my school or employer detect I‘m using a VPN?
In some cases, yes – network administrators can see VPN usage and prohibit access. To get around this, choose a VPN like NordVPN or Surfshark that offers "stealth" connection protocols to disguise your VPN traffic as regular HTTPS web traffic. Then the VPN becomes very difficult to detect.
I don‘t want to pay for a VPN – are free ones any good?
I don‘t recommend most free VPN services because they lack critical security features, have slow speeds, place data limits and may log your activity. However, Atlas VPN is one free VPN option that provides high speeds and unlimited data, with paid tiers available for more features. So give them a look if you want a free solution.
Do you have any other VPN tips?
I recommend always using the OpenVPN protocol rather than less secure choices like PPTP or L2TP/IPsec. For maximum privacy, use public WiFi or torrents only when connected via VPN. And be cautious downloading copyrighted content in Minnesota even with a VPN, as rights holders actively monitor piracy here.
Okay, that wraps up the most common questions people have about using a virtual private network in the North Star State. Hopefully I was able to explain how VPNs work and why they‘re so important for online privacy and freedom!
Go Forth andBrowse Freely!
I don‘t know about you, but learning what VPNs can do to take back my online privacy was life-changing. No more worrying about prying ISPs or government surveillance in Minnesota!
I‘m confident after reading this guide you now understand the huge benefits of VPNs here, and which providers are the best in 2023. Don‘t let your internet provider snoop on what you do online any longer.
NordVPN, Surfshark and Atlas VPN all offer risk-free trials and money-back guarantees, so you can try them out with zero risk. Unlock the whole internet and enjoy true online freedom with your new Minnesota VPN!
Let me know if you have any other questions about getting set up with a VPN. I‘m always happy to help out. Stay safe!